While the majority of Americans and news media were focused on the immigration crisis at the border last week, House Republicans quietly passed a bill that would bring significant changes to the food stamp program, and the White House revealed a proposal to consolidate the social safety net – both of which would hit President Trump's supporters hard.
According to The Washington Post, the House bill “would require Americans ages 18 through 59 to either work part time or spend 20 hours a week in workforce training to receive food stamps.”
And the White House proposal, which included the food stamp program, “has an explicit aim of building standardized requirements that people must work or prepare for jobs to qualify for government help.”
While these changes would affect all Americans receiving or needing assistance, the president's base appears most vulnerable.
The Post explains:
In the Trump era, the Republican Party has relied heavily on rural voters. And the most rural 20 percent of the population is also the most likely to live in a household that receives food stamps.
The distribution of food stamps isn't uniform across the urban-rural spectrum. It depends on the policies of the states that administer the program, as well as the poverty of residents. But food-stamp use is particularly high in key Trump strongholds, such as rural Appalachia, the Ozarks and much of the rural South.
Also analyzing the Trumpiness factor across counties, the Post found that counties which supported Mitt Romney in 2012 but shifted to Trump in 2016 are particularly vulnerable as well.
The huge five-percentage-point gap between the Trumpiest and Romniest counties shows — perhaps even more clearly than the contrasting politicians themselves — that the party now leans heavily on the support of poor, working-class areas.
Long story short?
[M]any people in those areas? They lean heavily on the support of the federal government.